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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Rays may pursue tampering charges over Joe Maddon

Joe MaddonThe Tampa Bay Rays suspect the Chicago Cubs may have tampered with manager Joe Maddon, and they could pursue charges, according to a report.

Maddon surprisingly opted out of his contract with the Rays on Oct. 23, not long after being informed by the team that he had a 14-day window to opt out thanks to executive Andrew Friedman leaving for the Dodgers. Though Maddon expressed strong interest in returning to the team, less than a week later, reports said he was being hired by the Cubs, who are expected to make the announcement official on Monday.

The Rays are suspicious over the seemingly sudden change in heart by Maddon and may pursue tampering charges, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Here’s what Marc Topkin writes:

The gist of the Rays’ issue is the feeling that the Cubs reached out to Maddon (or his agent reached out to the Cubs) sometime after it was known that exec VP Andrew Friedman was leaving, which opened a 14-day window for Maddon to opt out. Maddon spoke strongly about wanting to stay on Oct. 14 when Friedman’s departure was announced. In short, the Rays believe something changed before Maddon finalized his opt-out Oct. 23.

Maddon publicly said he and the Rays were in a financial disagreement over his future, which is believable given the financial constraints Tampa Bay faces. But it’s awfully fishy that a deal between Maddon and the Rays came together so quickly after he opted out.

It’s like dating: many people only break up with their current companion when they have someone else lined up next.

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